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Primary school application angst - support thread?

(127 Posts)
Lozario Tue 01-Jan-13 21:40:59

So I'm lying here attempting to have an early night as can hardly sleep for worrying about our primary school application for DS1. But of course I can't sleep. Again sad

We live in a borough of south London where small children seem to outnumber adults about 20 to 1. Found out last year that we might no longer live close enough to our closest primary school - a 3 form entry approx 580 metres away. All other schools are a drive away. It's going on our list as number 1 but looking unlikely.

DH is one of those lucky people who can tell himself "you have no control over this, worrying won't achieve anything, so don't worry and see what happens". I am not one of those people; am self-confessed control freak and struggling with the basic concept of my PFB starting school in Sept at all, let alone which school it might be!

April seems a long way away, especially if I don't sleep between now and then, and so I wondered if there are any other insomniac mums out there with kids (supposedly) starting primary in Sept 2013 who might like to join me in a virtual wine or brew ??? DH is sick of my constant anxiety!!!

drivingmisspotty Thu 10-Jan-13 14:39:12

Can I join you stressed out lot too?

also have a question. I am on border of two boroughs and considering listing a couple of schools next door. BUT I know both boroughs are generally oversubscribed. Would they therefore favour residents of their own boroughs as they are the only ones they have an obligation to educate?

Also struggling on order between primary where dd goes to nursery and has good/outstanding early years but has just been put in special measures and got new head re not pushing kids and neighbouring school which has good ofsted from 2010 but where I missed tour and they haven't returned my calls. Anyone have ideas ony dilemma? Really don't want to put down a school I haven't visited but everyone I speak to is scaring me re the special measures one and how bad it is.

notcitrus Thu 10-Jan-13 14:51:55

Have done all the SIFs, but I have no idea what the point is - they aren't church schools so no questions about religion, just name, address, dob of child etc, just like the CAF. The only difference is they ask to see your council tax bill instead of just the number off it, and one wants the child's butt certificate. No additional 'information' for the school at all!

Can only assume they are hoping disorganized types of family don't get round applying.

notcitrus Thu 10-Jan-13 14:58:12

Birth certificate! Damn autocorrect!

prh47bridge Thu 10-Jan-13 18:44:38

drivingmisspotty - An LA is not allowed to give priority to its own residents. If a school has a formal catchment area and gives priority to children living within that area it is permissible for the catchment area to lie entirely within the LA. However, most schools do not have a formal catchment area. They use distance as a tie breaker. In that case whether or not you live in the same LA as the school is irrelevant. All that matters is how far you live from the school.

drivingmisspotty Thu 10-Jan-13 20:29:38

Thanks prh that makes my ordering easier.

stickygotstuck Fri 11-Jan-13 17:59:12

Arriving a bit late to the thread, but can I just say I am so relieved to see I am not the only idiot person agonising and procrastinating before putting in our application! Have been undecided between two schools since October! Now it boils down to availability of wrap-around childcare for each school.

My DH almost made be believe we are the only parents in the country who haven't got round to it yet! We are cutting it fine to be fair hmm.

PickledApples Fri 11-Jan-13 23:39:32

Just marking place to read this later; (also arriving late along with sticky !)
We've submitted but I'm still umming and ahhing confused

drivingmisspotty Sun 13-Jan-13 20:45:10

noticed this is about to drop off front page and thought I would share with you all that I am just about to put together an excel spreadsheet of catchment areas just in case I've missed anything. oh yeah!

HaplessHousewife Sun 13-Jan-13 22:08:22

I'm in the ridiculous situation that my nearest (ignoring the massively over-subscribed Catholic school that we have no hope of getting in to unless I'm adopted by the Pope before September) school is the biggest primary school in Europe, I believe, with a six class intake and we still might not get in.

Last year was touch and go but I'm told was a big birth year and the catchment was the smallest it's ever been so I'm trying to convince myself that it couldn't happen two years in a row but I'm still panicking. It is the only school I want DD to go to sad.

pinksomething Sun 13-Jan-13 22:42:00

<sigh> My angst is totally different to the rest of the thread. School choice was easy - village school, half a mile away, sibling already there. I only put down 1 choice.
But I don't want him to goooooooo sad sad sad I want to keep him with meeeeeee sad
I miss them so much!

Lozario Sun 13-Jan-13 23:36:23

Hapless that's what I'm trying to tell myself too but part of me wants to expect the worst so I can be prepared!! 6 form entry that's huge!!

pink I do know what you mean. Even if we get our first choice (unlikely) there will still be a big part of me that doesn't want him to go. He's so tiny. Other grown ups won't understand him like I do sad

Loving the spreadsheet action!!

I've had too many brewbrew today. Won't sleep tonight. Maybe this snow that's supposedly coming tomorrow will take our minds off it all for 24 hours!!

TaperJeanGirl Mon 14-Jan-13 01:38:27

Another one late to arrive, have had a niggling feeling I needed to do something...yep, apply for a school place for ds shock have applied, dd1 and dd2 go to the school down the road so shouldnt have a problem getting him in, but he has only just started nursery full time, he wont be leaving in july, I will defer him till april 2014, seems so early to be applying!

Iggity Mon 14-Jan-13 10:14:50

Submitted my application online last night. I can list up to 6 schools which was a bit of a struggle to find.

My first two are Catholic schools, one of which we are in the catchment for and in the parish. No idea what are chances are as they only take 30 per year plus it has just been inspected at beginning of year and has jumped from satisfactory to outstanding so will probably make it a popular choice.

Our nearest school, whilst rated "good" has dismal SAT results (lower than LEA and national averages) whilst our two first preferences are top in the area. I also have only visited 4/6 schools so fingers crossed.

I keep thinking I have forgotten to do something........

HaplessHousewife Mon 14-Jan-13 11:48:45

I'm ringing the admissions people today to put my mind at rest that I haven't done something wrong attaching the documents to my application and I'm trying to decide whether to ask if they know if it's going to be a high intake this year.

They probably don't know, or even if they do, I suspect they wouldn't want to tell me but I feel I need to ask!

I'm going to have to forget about it after the deadline tomorrow otherwise I'll never survive the next three months.

Ostrich78 Mon 14-Jan-13 13:03:08

Hi all,
I’m after a bit of advice if anyone knows or can point me to the right website as I can’t find anything on my council or the schools admissions sites relating to my query.
I thought I was well ahead of the game by getting the application submitted on the 1st Jan but I realised that where I live they want a recent copy of your child benefit letter as well as the birth certificate and council tax bill. I could only find a CB letter from 2009 when my DS was born so on the 2nd Jan I requested a recent letter from HMRC only to find out it takes 2 weeks to send through (edd 16th Jan!!!). I'm still waiting for this so my question is – As I have submitted my application and attached relevant docs (apart from the CB letter), will it be classed as a late application if I don't get the CB letter attached until Wed?
I’ve tried the admissions people but they are not open Mondays, I’ll call tomorrow but I’m sure a million others will be trying to get through too. Aaahhh!

HaplessHousewife Mon 14-Jan-13 13:35:28

When I rang for my Child Benefit letter, I rang on the Monday and it arrived on Saturday so it may come tomorrow.

I don't know where you are but in my London borough we have until the beginning of February to supply the supporting documents for it to still be classed as an on-time application as long as the form is in on time. There's a box in our Starting School Booklet with all the relevant dates in which you can also find online.

Although, a friend in a different borough hadn't done the Child Benefit letter and was told it didn't have to be from within the last year so I'd ring them tomorrow and check.

Ostrich78 Mon 14-Jan-13 14:02:27

Thanks HHW,
I just called HMRC and they're sending me another letter which again could take up to 2 weeks! I've not seen anything in the booklet I have or the website but maybe I'm looking and not seeing!
Thanks again.

drivingmisspotty Mon 14-Jan-13 16:29:20

Hi ostrich. I submitted mine this morning and it gave the deadline for supporting documents (end jan for us) both on website and in confirmation email they sent. Have you looked there? We're on something called eadmissions.

Ostrich78 Mon 14-Jan-13 16:44:00

Thanks Driving!
I just checked my email and it says "For your online appilcation to be considered as on-time you must have completed and submitted your final version by 11:59pm on the 15th January 2013. Wherever possible attaching the required documentation."
I'll check with the LA tomorrow, if I can get through, to confirm if I can attach anything after this time, I'll update if anyone else is interested...

HaplessHousewife Mon 14-Jan-13 17:47:07

I rang my admissions people today – on hold for about 15 mins so not too horrendous, I was just pleased I got through at all!

Whenever I've rung they've answered my many neurotic questions and been very helpful. I keep getting in a flap but they always seem quite relaxed about it so fingers crossed you'll get a bit of leeway.

On the downside I did ask about the number of applications and they said it did look like it was going to be another big year so it looks like I've got three months of nail biting sad.

Iggity Mon 14-Jan-13 18:32:32

I'm in London also and I have scanned in medical card as proof of child's address as my child benefit letter didn't have my DC's name on it so didn't think I could use it as proof of address.

HaplessHousewife Mon 14-Jan-13 20:58:47

Iggity check the back of the letter, mine just had my children's name on the other side.

I may be wrong but someone told me the Child Benefit letter is to prove you have parental responsibility for your child, not to prove their address – I await being corrected by someone who knows more than me!

Ostrich78 Tue 15-Jan-13 11:57:06

Hi all,
Just spoke to the admissions office (Waltham Forest - London) and they advised me to send the child benefit letter in the post when I get it and it wouldn't be a problem. She advised that I wouldn't be able to attach anything to the submission after today - I assumed I could do this.
My original CB letter (2009) has my DS first name only on the second page of the letter.

stickygotstuck Tue 15-Jan-13 14:15:28

Just checking back to see if I was the only one to have submitted the application extremely late last night! I see I am not - that makes me feel so much better blush.

I hope all of you waiting for letters/looking for documents are on time to avoid being considered as late applicants - after all the stress!

That's it, the next 3 months will be a walk in the park compared to the last 3 weeks, as far as I am concerned grin.

PickledApples Tue 15-Jan-13 14:21:30

HELP! I am quite concerned - I had a simple 'clickity-click' on the online forms, filled in details... no request for evidence of anything, submitted.... that's it.

should it be more complicated?
What am I missing?! confused

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